Report: Canucks request permission to talk to Rangers assistant Arniel

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The number of candidates for the Vancouver Canucks’ head coaching job expanded with the team’s request to speak to Rangers assistant coach Scott Arniel, per Sportsnet.

The fact that the Rangers went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final meant that it wouldn’t have been appropriate for Vancouver to talk to Arniel sooner.

If he does end up getting the job, then the Canucks will be hiring someone they’re already very familiar with. He served as the head coach of the Canucks’ old AHL affiliates, the Manitoba Moose, from 2006-10. He won the AHL’s coach of the year award in 2008-09 for leading the Moose to the best record in the league and the Calder Cup Final.

Arniel was then brought on to serve as the Columbus Blue Jackets’ bench boss, but he was fired after just one and a half seasons, leaving with a 45-60-18 record. After that setback, he went back to Vancouver to serve as the head coach of their new AHL squad, the Chicago Wolves. When fired Canucks coach Alain Vigneault went to the New York Rangers, Arniel agreed to join him as an assistant.

AHL Texas Stars head coach Willie Desjardins is believed to be a serious contender for the Canucks’ coaching gig. Dan Bylsma might also be one of the finalists.